Lo­cals strong in beach run

Whitsunday Times - - SPORT -

RUN­NING: This year’s Great White­haven Beach Run was set alight by tal­ent on Sun­day and the mes­sage was clear - that this is a beach and an event that should be on ev­ery­one’s bucket list.

Blessed with a mag­i­cal win­ter’s day, the record field for all three events – the half marathon, 10km and 5km – wel­comed podium placeget­ters from across the na­tion and the world.

Lo­cal Ash­lea Achilles re­turned to com­pet­i­tive run­ning with a stun­ning vic­tory in the 10km event.

A Hamil­ton Is­land staff mem­ber, Achilles won by over three min­utes in 42 min­utes 17 sec­onds ahead of Mackay’s Alana Ford and an­other Hamil­ton Is­land com­peti­tor, Kathy McCarthy.

It was a win for NSW how­ever in the men’s event, with David Jenk­ins pip­ping the Nether­lands’ Woul­ter Luinge and Vic­to­rian Frank Shevlin.

An­other pre-race favourite, Bowen’s El­liarna Mitchell, also han­dled the pres­sure with aplomb, fin­ish­ing third over­all in the 5km and two min­utes clear of Can­non­vale’s Riana Cashinella and Wendy Ver­sluis of Su­gar­loaf.

Both Mitchell and Townsville’s Josiah McCarthy de­fended their 2016 ti­tles.

An en­thralling bat­tle be­tween Ju­bilee Pocket’s Roland Hen­der­son and Bris­bane’s Richard Ed­wards over the half marathon led to a dra­matic fin­ish. It wasn’t un­til the fi­nal 500m that Ed­wards was able to edge away from Hen­der­son and take the win by a mere eight sec­onds af­ter an epic one hour 28 minute bat­tle.

An­other Vic­to­rian, this time Bac­chus Marsh’s Paul Bar­ton, took the fi­nal podium po­si­tion, hav­ing found him­self in no-man’s land and run­ning solo.

For the women, Ju­nia Larsen of Bud­erim cut a lone fig­ure at the front of the field, win­ning in one hour 37 min­utes and well clear of sec­ond placed Pamela Hud­son-Jes­sop and Aleisha Mur­ray.

On the lo­cal front, there were age cat­e­gory wins for Strathdickie’s Kirsty Waugh (half marathon, 30-39 years), Hamil­ton Is­land’s Paul Fraser (half, 40-49) and Mick McCarthy (10km, 50-59), Proser­pine’s Lucy Pep­per (5km, 30-39) and from Can­non­vale, Stu­art All­wright and Joleen Tirendi who both won the 10km 40-49 years age groups.

At­ten­tion now turns to the Airlie Beach Run­ning Fes­ti­val in July and the Hamil­ton Is­land En­durance Se­ries, wrap­ping up with the triathlon and White­haven Beach Ocean Swim in Novem­ber. Com­peti­tors are urged to reg­is­ter soon.

PHOTO: HAMIL­TON IS­LAND PHOTOGRAPHY

ON THEIR MARKS: The start of the 10k Great White­haven Beach Run with even­tual win­ners Ash Achilles (left) and David Jenk­ins (right).

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